Albion display ruins special day

Terry Wills is not a happy Albion supporter.

Attempting to put into words the events surrounding the Jeff Astle day is difficult. So much anticipation/excitement/euphoria , they were all there. Pre-match memories of 60’s music fondly remembered, unlike much of the current musical ‘noise’ that blasts out masquerading under the name of entertainment. Players wearing shirts minus club sponsors numbered 2 -11

As the song goes “Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end.”

But time and tide waits for no-one and following the memorable sight of Brummie Road fans proudly bearing 6,000 placards in appreciation of King Jeff what could possibly throw a spanner in the works? Especially as Albion had taken an early lead and, despite a Leicester equaliser, had scored again to give the Baggies a 2-1 lead.

Last week I commented that I never again wanted too see such a dismal embarrassing non-show as that against Queens Park Rangers. No chance – the second 45 minutes was unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. Dismal defending, awful distribution, barely a half chance created, topped by a dreadful Gareth McAuley error that led to the Foxes’ added on time-winning goal. That did it – hundreds of angry fans streaming away while those sticking it out to the very bitter end released a non-stop chorus of well-deserved boos.

What and who to blame? Individually, for me, only James Morrison and Darren Fletcher earned their no doubt expensive wages. As for the rest, forget them.

Tony Pulis is coming under rising criticism. Having to select centre backs, as he considers the recognised full backs simply aren’t good enough, is turning out to be a massive gamble. With seven goals conceded in successive home games against two of the bottom three clubs surely he needs to explain why the likes of Cristian Gamba and Sebastian Pocognoli aren’t given a chance. After all they could hardly be worse than the weekly, failing chosen few could they?

I’ve supported his appointment and still do but along with others I have to ask why, again, the team surrendered any initiative by ordering virtually every player to drop deep, defend in depth, hoping that it would be good enough to replicate what is now rapidly becoming a long forgotten clean sheet?

On paper Albion are still not in desperate trouble thanks to fellow strugglers failing to take advantage but a few more points will be needed to ensure the possibility of dropping down into the Championship can be discounted.

If having to tackle the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United wasn’t bad enough, this week we have a unenviable trip to play a Crystal Palace side in top form, and who aided by their baying non-stop fans are capable of beating the best around. The chance of Albion getting a result has to be considered minimal unless the form book is torn up and thrown out of the window.

Come on Albion, prove me wrong in feeling that Palace will be to strong, with their all-out pacey players leaving our defenders chasing shadows. Do it for the fans and the memory of King Jeff in particular. That special day setback was acknowledged by the players themselves to be their fault so please, do your best by giving the 100% effort and application so badly missing against Leicester at Selhurst Park.